HARM network

Honour Abuse Research Matrix (HARM) is the first and only international, multi-disciplinary research network focused on so-called ‘honour’-based abuse, violence and killing, forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), and other under-researched and often misunderstood forms of domestic abuse.

HARM network convenes researchers, experts by experience, charities, practitioners, and policymakers from various disciplines and across sectors, with the aim of developing novel and practical ways to understand, explain, and respond to the problem of domestic abuse and homicide, including ‘honour’ abuse, forced marriage and FGM.

  • Research-based policy innovation
  • Evidence-based training and education solutions
  • Awareness, advocacy and activism

HARM is a dynamic, independent knowledge-exchange agency that facilitates meaningful conversations, knowledge acquisition and peer engagement, fostering original interdisciplinary research, research-based policy innovation, and training and awareness programmes that put the voice of the survivor at the centre.

We are working with our worldwide membership to build a society that ensures equality and freedom from abuse for all.

Founder’s statement by Dr Roxanne Khan

When I founded HARM, in 2018, I had one goal. That is to unite researchers, practitioners, and experts-by-experience in a mission to develop strategies to eliminate ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage.

I maintain that the challenges of so-called ‘honour’ abuse require a dedicated network of talented people with the intention, expertise, and vision to achieve a shared goal: to create a world free from ‘honour’ abuse and violence.

How do we do this? We seek to understand and learn from the individuals who have experienced ‘honour’ abuse, their families, and the practitioners who support them. We conduct collaborative interdisciplinary research to identify fundamental problems, and we insist that our research, policy innovation, training and education programmes centre the voices of victims and survivors.

I believe that efforts to combat ‘honour’ crimes must be systematic, in the same way we approach other harmful behaviours. And, given the terrible consequences of ‘honour’ abuse for victims and survivors, and indeed the wider society, we must do just that. Eventually, we can eliminate these crimes, and that is a vision I believe is worth fighting for.

Find out more about our independent research services, professional training and consultancy.

  • Membership welcome pack and certificate
  • Connect with our diverse international network members
  • Find research partners and collaborators
  • Share best practice
  • Regular newsletters and bulletins
  • Share your news, promote your research and events across our network
  • Networking and learning events

Do you want to help us create a world safe from family violence and domestic homicide, including ‘honour’ abuse, forced marriage and FGM?

HARM welcomes members from the UK and internationally. And it only takes a moment to join us!

Free HARM network membership

HARM network broadly adopts the Crown Prosecution Service definition ↗️ of ‘Honour’-based abuse (HBA) as: “an incident or crime involving violence, threats of violence, intimidation coercion or abuse (including psychological, physical, sexual, financial or emotional abuse) which has or may have been committed to protect or defend the honour of an individual, family and/ or community for alleged or perceived breaches of the family and/or community’s code of behaviour.”

Additionally, honour based crimes could include: Forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, manslaughter, encouraging or assisting suicide, procuring an abortion, withdrawal from school, isolation, imprisonment, kidnapping and trafficking, and conspiracy to commit a variety of assaults.

‘Honour’ abuse victims in the UK are typically young South Asian or Middle Eastern females (Begum et al, 2020). Lesser recognised are male victims, LGBTQ+, and those in other cultural groups, including people of Mediterranean and Turkish heritage and in Gypsy Roma Traveller communities (Khan, 2017; Asquith, 2016;).

HARM network conducts robust independent research that helps to inform practice and policy innovation globally. HARM strives for a more sustainable approach to tackling ‘honour’-based violence, forced marriage, FGM and other hidden forms of domestic abuse. Our network believes that a move towards research-based policy and practice will improve outcomes for victims and those at risk of these crimes.

Independent research

Research areas:

  • Psychology
  • Crime and justice
  • Forensic science
  • Social inclusion
  • Social policy
  • Evidence-based policing
  • Families, children and life transitions
  • Health
  • Culture and society
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Midwifery and maternal child health

Research impact

HARM is committed to conducting research that has real-world impact. To successfully achieve this, HARM works in collaboration with the public, private and third sectors to deliver multiagency, transdisciplinary research that helps to shape policy and inform practice.

Domestic Abuse Policy Guidance for UK Universities

Since publication in May 2021, HARM’s pioneering domestic abuse policy guidance ↗️ has accrued over 8,000 downloads from CloK ↗️ (to Dec 2021). It has received 250,000 impressions on social media (Twitter analytics Apr 2021), with high engagement levels. This guidance has been adopted by universities across the UK, to inform specific domestic abuse policy and training initiatives to safeguard staff and students, and was shortlisted for a Times Higher Education (THE) Award, 2022, for Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences.

Domestic Abuse Awareness Workshops

Liverpool John Moores University worked in partnership with Dr Roxanne Khan and evidence-based training specialists, onEvidence Ltd,↗️ deliver a virtual (2 hour) ‘Domestic Abuse Awareness Workshop’ ↗️ to explore how staff may identify someone that is experiencing domestic abuse and discover ways in which to support them. This training is based on research undertaken by HARM.

Dr Khan continues to collaborate closely with Dr Gemma Wibberley, at iROWE, ↗️ to deliver welfare training to University and College Union (UCU) and UNISON members. Dr Khan also collaborates with colleagues at Durham University, who are international leaders in combatting sexual harassment on university campuses, and acted as an advisor to a student conduct office training programme.

Nazir Afzal Essay Competition

The annual Nazir Afzal Essay Competition, organised by HARM network, is named after British solicitor and former Chief Crown Prosecutor Nazir Afzal OBE who, during a 25 year career, has prosecuted some of the most high profile cases in the country, and led nationally on numerous legal topics including violence against women and girls, child sexual abuse, and ‘honour’-based abuse.

This international competition aims to encourage quality research and writing on marginalised victimology themes, to engage students and key stakeholders internationally in a creative way, and to drive positive societal change. Entries have been received from all over the world and the winning entry and runners up essays are published by HARM. The essay first prize of £500 is sponsored by charities who support victims of ‘honour’ abuse and other harmful practices.

Workplace Guidance Toolkit for UK Employers

Harmful Traditional Practices in the Workplace: Guidance for Best Practice

Since publication in 2020, HARM’s workplace guidance ↗️ toolkit has received over a million impressions on social media. This guidance has been adopted and/or endorsed by NHS Employers (Europe’s largest employer), the Crime Prosecution Service, Employers’ Initiative on Domestic Abuse, London’s Mayor’s Officer, city councils (e.g., Preston), and Universities (e.g., Liverpool John Moore’s University and the University of Central Lancashire) across the UK.

Super Complaint

Invisible survivors – The long wait for justice

Dr Roxanne Khan, Nazir Afzal OBE, and Dexter Diaz KC provided evidence in the form of expert statements to the first ever super-complaint detailing the systemic failures of Black, Asian and minority ethnic sexual abuse cases by police forces across England and Wales. Authored by HARM Ambassador Yasmin Khan (CEO of Halo Project and Welsh Government Advisor) as part of the Tees Valley Inclusion Project, the report – Invisible survivors: The long wait for justice – is one of only five super-complaints eligible to date and is being investigated by three major policing bodies. This was reported by BBC News and on BBC Newsnight.

Open Letter to the Home Secretary

Home Secretary-Open Letter: Hidden Harm Summit for Domestic Abuse 21 May 2020 COVID-19 Impact

Dr Roxanne Khan, Meena Kumari (HOPE network), and Dr Olumide Adisa (CART), co-wrote this open letter based on research by HARM. With over 40 influential signatories, this letter was delivered by Baroness Sandip Verma (House of Lords, Ministerial Champion for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Overseas), to the Home Secretary, the Right Honourable Priti Patel MP, at the Hidden Harm Summit for Domestic Abuse, Chaired by Prime Minister Boris Johnson (as reported in The Independent).

APPG

All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Domestic Violence and Abuse. Session: The Context and Nature of ‘Honour-Based’ Abuse.

The APPG invited Dr Roxanne Khan to speak at this meeting on the work of HARM network to raise awareness of ‘honour’-based abuse and to present suggestions to improve the evidence base for practitioners working in the domestic abuse sector. The sessions Chairs are Apsana Begum MP and Baroness Bertin. Other Speakers included Baljit Banga (Executive Director, Imkaan), Natasha Rattu (Executive Director, Karma Nirvana) and Diana Nammi (Executive Director IKWRO).

Research publications

‘Honour’ abuse, violence, and forced marriage in the UK. Police cases (incidents and charges) and specialised training: 2018 and 2019 ↗️ Yasmin Khan, Roxanne Khan, Olumide Adisa, Meera Kumari & Katherine Allen (2021). HARM Network report commissioned for HALO Project.

Adisa, O. & Khan, R. (2021). The Story of H.O.P.E. How a group of Black and Brown women reshaped domestic abuse support networks in lockdown ↗️ Domestic Abuse Research Network (DARNet), University of Suffolk & Honour Abuse Research Matrix (HARM), University of Central Lancashire.

“They will keep seeing young women murdered by men. Enough is enough-we have seen too many women lose their lives”. Lessons for professionals working with victims of ‘honour’ abuse and violence.↗️ Reema Begum, Roxanne Khan, Brewer, G., & Beth Hall (2020). Genealogy. Special Issue: “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, Children Young People and Their Families in and against the Youth (Criminal) Justice System“, 4 (3).

Homophobic ‘honour’ abuse experienced by South Asian gay men in England. ↗️ Roxanne Khan & Michelle Lowe (2020). In M. Idriss (Ed.), Men, Masculinities and Honour-Based Violence, Chapter 6 (pp. 95-113). Oxon: Routledge.

Antigay “Honor” Abuse: A Multinational Attitudinal Study of Collectivist­-Versus Individualist­-Orientated Populations in Asia and England. ↗️ Michelle Lowe, Roxanne Khan, Thanzami Vanlal, Mahsa Barzy and Rozina Karmaliani (2019). Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

Introduction to the Special Issue on Honour Based Abuse, Violence, and Killings. ↗️ Roxanne Khan (2018). Journal of Aggression, Conflict & Peace Research. Special Edition: ‘Honour’ Killing, Violence & Abuse,10(4), 237-238.

‘Honour’ abuse: the experience of South Asians who identify as LGBT in North West England. ↗️ Roxanne Khan, Beth Hall and Michelle Lowe (2017). Summary report prepared for Lancashire Constabulary.

‘Honour’-based violence in a British South Asian community. ↗️ Roxanne Khan, Shamam Saleem (2018). Safer Communities, 17 (1). pp. 11-21.

Attitudes toward intimate partner ‘honor’-based violence in India, Iran, Malaysia and Pakistan. ↗️ Michelle Lowe, Roxanne Lowe, Thanzami, Vanlal, Mahsa Barzy and Rozina Karmaliani (2018). Journal of Aggression, Conflict & Peace Research. Special Edition: ‘Honour’ Killing, Violence & Abuse, 10 (4), 283-89.

Honour-related violence (HRV) in Scotland: A cross-and multi-agency intervention involvement survey. ↗️ Roxanne Khan (2007). International Journal of Criminology, 1-8.

Special Edition: Domestic violence and child abuse in the UK: oversights, controversies, and solutions. Invited Guest Editor, Dr Roxanne Khan, Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace. (publication date: November 2022)

Special Edition: ‘Honour’ Killing, Violence and Abuse. ↗️ Invited Guest Editor, Dr Roxanne Khan, Journal of Aggression, Conflict and Peace. (published: November 2018).

Research awards

Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2022, for Research Project of the Year: Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. (Finalist).

Iranian and Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) True Honour Awards, 2020. Dr Roxanne Khan was winner of Special Recognition: Academic Contribution to End ‘Honour’-Based Abuse. (Winner).

Emerald Literati Awards 2019: Highly Commended Paper ‘Honour’ -based violence in a British South Asian community, Dr. Roxanne Khan, Shamam Saleem and Dr. Michelle Lowe. Published in Safer Communities. (Winner).

Emerald Literati Awards 2019: Outstanding Paper Perception and barriers: reporting female genital mutilation, Dr. Geetanjali Gangoli, Professor Aisha Gill, Dr. Natasha Mulvihill and Dr. Marianne Hester. Published in Journal of Aggression, Conflict & Peace Research, invited paper on special edition edited by Dr. Roxanne Khan. (Winner).

HARM has over 350 members worldwide. Our diverse network encompasses local, national, and international members from academia and education, the police and other emergency services and first-responders, the health service, crime scene investigators, legal professionals, government advisors, the Civil Service, NGOs and support organisations, social services and safeguarding professionals, survivors, activists and students.

HARM Ambassadors

Nazir Afzal OBE

Nazir Afzal is a government advisor and former Chief Crown Prosecutor. Renowned for raising public awareness of forced marriage and honour crimes, he received a standing ovation for his keynote speech at the launch of Honour Abuse Research Matrix in 2018.

DCI Caroline Goode KPM

Formerly London Metropolitan Police, Caroline was awarded Queen’s Police Medal for leading the investigation into Banaz Mahmod’s tragic murder and continues to work tirelessly to protect those at risk of honour violence and killings.

Yasmin Khan

National government advisor on Violence against Women, Yasmin is the pioneering founder of forced marriage and honour abuse charity, the Halo Project ↗️

Professor Rusi Jaspal

Rusi Jaspal is Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Knowledge Exchange) and a Professor of Psychology at the University of Brighton in the United Kingdom. He is a Chartered Psychologist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society, the Academy of Social Sciences, the Royal Society of Arts, the Royal Society of Public Health, and the Higher Education Academy.

Matt Mahmood-Ogston

Award-winning LGBTQI+ campaigner and film director, Matt is Director of the Naz and Matt Foundation ↗️, dedicated to tackling religious homophobia, setup in memory of his fiancé, Dr Nazim Mahmood, who ended his life two days after his parents confronted him about his sexuality. Matt and Naz’s personal story inspired a ground-breaking storyline in one of Britain’s most watched TV programmes, Coronation Street.

Shaheen Hashmat

Shaheen is a Scottish Pakistani writer, campaigner, and survivor of honour abuse, who raises awareness around ‘honour’ abuse and forced marriage in the media, her website ↗️, and other platforms. Having studied English and creative writing at Brunel University, Shaheen is now working on a memoir, It Ends With Us.

Meena Kumari

Meena is Founder and Director of H.O.P.E ↗️ Training & Consultancy. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Meena launched a platform for Black, Asian and other minority ethnic communities to discuss the impact of domestic and sexual abuse on survivors during lockdown.

HARM conducts independent research and develops practitioner-led, survivor-informed ‘honour’ abuse training courses for professionals.

This innovative approach, and increased communication and interaction between the spheres of research, practice, and expertise-by-experience, means that our tailored courses offer effective training solutions and continuing professional development CPD for organisations.

Research

Research - CBPR, evaluation, research impact

Community Based Participatory Research (CBPR)

Programme evaluation

Research impact

Training

Training - Honour abuse and forced marriage, domestic abuse and homicide, child abuse

Domestic Abuse and Homicide

‘Honour’ Abuse and Forced Marriage

Child Abuse

Consultancy

Consultancy - criminal justice, safeguarding, domestic homicide review Chair and Author

Criminal Justice

Safeguarding Policy and Practice

Domestic Homicide Review Chair and Author services

Commission HARM services

HARM works with Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs), charities, local and national government, and other research funding bodies, to design and deliver high-quality research to inform policies and practices.

  • Qualitative, quantitative and mixed-method social research
  • Community-based participatory research (CBPR)
  • Programme evaluation
  • Safeguarding policy and practice
  • Domestic Homicide Review Chair and Author services
  • Child Safeguarding Practice Review services
  • Plain English reporting
  • Targeted dissemination
  • Educational events and evidence-based learning

HARM is a diverse community of researchers, practitioners and experts-by-experience, with a demonstrable track record of delivering research and learning in the areas of violence and aggression, criminal justice, equity, diversity and inclusion, and health.

To commission research or invite HARM to tender, please get in touch.

Film and TV

Locked. Dirty Kitchen Sink Theatre Company. Film about domestic abuse during lockdown, featuring Dr Roxanne Khan (HARM network). Trailer ↗️  

The Killer Within. Sky Crime. Documentary on the Murder of Rania Alayed, featuring Dr Roxanne Khan (HARM network). Woodcut Media.

Lifeline. Film featuring Dr Roxanne Khan (HARM network), Jess Philips MP, Natasha Rattu (CEO Karma Nirvana). Launch event ↗️ hosted by University of East Anglia. Director, Professor Eylem Atakav (Professor of Film, Gender and Public Engagement).

News

Northamptonshire’s hidden problem with honour based abuse View ↗️

British government ignoring ethnic minority domestic abuse victims who are ‘suffering in silence’, warns UN official View ↗️

Domestic abuse workers reveal the trauma of trying to help victims during lockdown View ↗️

Coercive control conviction ‘can help Asians seek justice’ View ↗️

National study into honour abuse wins national publishing award View ↗️

What it’s like to lose your sister in an honour killing View ↗️

Preston lecturer leads battle against honour-based violence View ↗️

‘Migrant slavery and abuse victims need more help’ View ↗️

Young, gay and married – Britons wed to avoid abuse View ↗️

HARM network

May 2025 newsletter

Emergency

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, call 999 and ask for Police.

Help and advice 

There are local and national charities and support organisations you can contact for help. The following offer services ranging from confidential advice and friendly support, to practical assistance and legal guidance.

Halo Project ↗️ provide the emergency help you need to: obtain a safe place to live, understand your welfare and benefits entitlements, gain police protection and public safety, gain court ordered protection. Telephone: 01642 683 045 | Email: info@haloproject.org.uk

Refuge and Women’s Aid ↗️ run a freephone 24-hour helpline for victims of domestic violence, including ‘honour’-based violence and forced marriage. Telephone: 0808 2000 247

Forced Marriage Unit ↗️ (FMU) operates a public helpline to provide advice and support to victims of forced marriage, and professionals dealing with cases. The assistance provided ranges from safety advice, through to helping a forced marriage victim prevent their unwanted spouse moving to the UK (‘reluctant sponsor’ cases). In extreme circumstances the FMU will assist with rescues of victims held against their will overseas. Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7008 0151 | Email: fmu@fco.gov.uk

Naz and Matt Foundation ↗️ are a charity who hold regular support group meetings and one-to-one support or mentoring for LGBTQI+ individuals and parents from religious or faith backgrounds. Email: matt@nazandmattfoundation.org

Karma Nirvana ↗️ offer confidential help and support for victims and those at risk of honour abuse and forced marriage in the UK. Lines are open 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. Telephone: 0800 5999 247

Savera UK ↗️ provides advice, safeguarding and advocacy services to survivors, those at risk and the professionals who work with them, as well as offering welfare and wellbeing interventions that help individuals in their ‘new beginning’. Lines are open 10am – 4pm, Monday to Friday, excluding Bank Holidays. Telephone: 0800 107 0726 (10am – 4pm, Monday – Friday, excluding Bank Holidays).

You can also search for local and national services for victims and those at risk. It is important that you seek advice the moment you suspect something is wrong.

Honour Abuse Research Matrix (including HARM and HARM network) is a research project led by Dr Roxanne Khan, onEvidence Ltd. We do not offer support or advice to victims of ‘honour’-based abuse.

BPS Member, Chartered Scientist, DBS Checked